September 17, 2013
The always-truthful and ever-trustworthy Tokyo Electric Power Co. has released a statement that says “Typhoon Man-Yi caused no major damage at Fukushima.” That’s great news – if it’s true – but the follow-up to that is perhaps a little more concerning. As Kyodo News reports, TEPCO has released the excess rainwater, that has collected between the barriers around radioactive storage tanks, into the ocean. We are reassured though, as officials stated that the level of radioactive substances in the accumulated rainwater was below allowable limits at 30 becquerels per liter (except The Tokyo Times reports some was emitting 170,000 becquerals per liter). All good then…
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it has released rainwater that accumulated during a typhoon between barriers around storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex to prevent the water overflowing.
The plant operator said it has decided to pump the water into the ocean after finding that the level of radioactive substances in it was below the allowable limit for release into the sea.
TEPCO, fearing that heavy rain caused by Typhoon Man-yi could raise the water level and cause flooding, opened the barriers and released the water mainly through drainage ditches.
The utility said the rainwater was discharged from barriers at seven locations and contained strontium 90, which can cause bone cancer if ingested. The beta radiation given off by the strontium did not exceed the government’s limit of 30 becquerels per liter, it said.
Tepco said the radiation level of the water overall, including strontium 90, which accounted for about half of the beta ray emissions, maxed out at 24 becquerels per liter.
In areas where water samples were highly toxic, however, Tepco took a different approach and transferred it elsewhere through makeshift pumps. One of those areas contained rainwater that was emitting 170,000 becquerels per liter, far higher than allowed.